Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Monaco Preview 25/08/2021

Vitalii Vitleo /

Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Monaco 1-0 in the first leg of the team’s Champions League playoff round first leg match. The Miners were excellent scoring in the 19th minute through Pedrinho.

Now, Roberto De Zerbi’s team host Monaco seeking progression to the Champions League group stage.

Monaco are in a terrible state of form. Niko Kovac’s team has lost three games on the bounce and failed to score in each of those games. Monaco are coming off of a Ligue 1 loss at the weekend to Lens, 2-0. Both goals came in the second period.

— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) August 23, 2021

Shakhtar Donetsk are on a four-match winning streak. Their last three games in all competitions ended in wins to nil. The Miners defeated Odessa at the weekend in the Premier League 3-0.

De Zerbi’s team has outscored opponents 16-5 in eight games in all competitions this season. Monaco, on the other hand, have scored just six goals while allowing six to opponents in six matches.

Shakhtar Donetsk’s first leg goalscorer, Pedrinho, was taken off at halftime during the first leg and did not play against Odessa at the weekend. He recently suffered a muscle injury and his omission from the game at the weekend could have simply been a precaution.

Maycon was substituted with an injury during first leg and did not play in the Odessa victory. Marcos Antonio, Manor Solomon and Lassina Traore should return to the starting XI after being on the bench at the weekend. Dodo and Vitao should start in defence after keeping a clean sheet a week ago.

Monaco goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte has been loaned to Atletico Madrid meaning Alex Nubel will start this week and for the rest of the season.

Kovac did not play Benoit Badiashile, Guillermo Maripan, Gelson Martins nor Kevin Volland from the start against Lens. Kovac left midfielder Youssouf Fofana out of the squad entirely. Kovac’s team has lost three straight matches and the pressure could be building on the coach’s shoulders.

Monaco have put a lot of focus on making the Champions League group stage. However, the rotation of players has resulted in a lack of form.

Shakhtar Donetsk are in excellent form and posted a 1-0 win in the first leg. Monaco have gone over 270 minutes without a goal. The drought should continue this week with Shakhtar Donetsk claiming a win in Kyiv.

It should be another low-scoring match just like the first leg. Shakhtar Donetsk should claim a second win over Monaco with under 2.5 goals being scored.

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